CWOOD wrote:I recently sent this to my Austin Representative Eddie Rodriguez:
Dear Representative Rodriguez,
> I am writing to urge you to support and, in fact, assist by co-authoring HB 1301 and HB 1898.
> HB 1301, as I am sure you are aware relates to allowing Concealed Handgun License (CHL)holders to secure their handguns
> locked in their private vehicles while on public access employer parking lots. This is a very important measure to CHL holders because many travel considerable distances to and from work. Others travel through unsafe areas or at odd times of day in circumstances where help in an emergency might be several minutes away. Personally, I leave for work in South Austin at 4:30 AM. There is very little traffic and effectively NO police presence at that time of day.
I don't want to carry IN my employers work place. I just want to be able to secure it in my vehicle while I am at work. To comply with my employers wishes now I must disarm for the entire day unless I make a special trip home after work.
To protect my employer HB 1301 also offers near full immunity for liability regarding my handgun.
> Regarding HB 1898, I also strongly urge you to support this bill. While I am not now a college student, I have one daugher who is attending Tarleton State in Stephenville. She will be getting her CHL this year at the age of 24. One hears so much about assults and muggings and rape on campus that I wish for her to have legal and effective means of self defense.
> The fairly recent news about school shootings is certainly disturbing. However it seems that the problem was not so much the presence of firearms themselves, but that there were only firearms in the hands of people intent on doing evil... UNAPPOSED. These bad people select these locations specifically because they KNOW that they will be the only ones armed. Very near the saddness that was the Virginia Tech massacres, there was an incident at the Appalachia School of Law in Grundy, Virgina. In that incident a diagruntled student murdered two faculty members and another student and wounded three others. He was later subdued by two students who went to their vehicles to retrieve stored handguns and by one unarmed student. The potential for more mayhem would have been much greater without law abiding people able, and willing, to defend themselves and others.
> I apologize for the length of this and thank you for your consideration.
His reply from a staffer:
> Dear Mr. cwood,
> Thank you for bringing your concerns regarding concealed hand gun licenses and hand guns on campuses to Representative Rodriguez's
> attention. Representative Rodriguez is in favor and supports open hand gun laws. As for HB 1301 Representative always supports
> local control and feels it should be up to the owner of the business to address that issue. He does not believe in the state mandating rules for business owners.
With HB1893 he does not support guns on school campuses.>
> Gustavo Garza, Legislative Aide
> Office of State Representative Eddie Rodriguez
Dear Mr. Garza,
Thank you for your response to my email to Representative Rodriguez.
If I may, I would like some clarification on a couple of points in your reply. My questions are asked with all due respect.
In your response you state that Rep. Rodriguez is in favor of and supports "open hand gun laws." As a point of information for me, could you please comment on what the phrase "open hand gun laws" means to Rep. Rodriguez? Is he in favor of the open carrying of handguns or am I misreading your comment?
Specifically in regards to HB 1301, the State of Texas has, in recent years moved to regard ones automobile or RV as an extension of ones residence, or private property, as the law relates to firearms. In the case of this bill, the protection afforded to the individual employee only extends to the locked and secured vehicle, his private property. Should the employee try to possess the handgun beyond that point, there would be no protection offered. Outside of the vehicle, the employee would ONLY THEN be infringing on the employer's private property.
As for the state mandating rules for businesses, the state and local governments have been mandating a plethora of rules and regulations to businesses since the beginning of the state. Certainly a clarification of when one person's private property ends and and another's begins would not be too burdensome.
In regards to HB 1893, while we disagree, please express my respect to Rep. Rodriguez for his unequivocal response the that issue.
Again, thank you for taking the time to answer my first email. I look forward to your consideration and reply concerning my comments regarding HB 1301.
No response yet to my correspondence with my State Senator Kirk Watson.
Eddie Rodriguez has a "D" rating from the TSRA. He was recently sent a copy of the "SCCC Handbook: Texas Edition
," but I'm not optimistic about our chances of converting him. He's one of the nine members of the Public Safety committee, so his opinion is definitely important, but the bill can get out of committee without his vote.
According to Senator Watson's senior policy advisor Edna Butts, Joe Hamil is handling Criminal Justice issues for their office. If I were to take a stab at his email address, I'd guess Joe.Hamil@senate.state.tx.us
FYI, the University of North Texas student newspaper has a poll about concealed carry on campus on the front page of their website (halfway down, on the right side): http://www.ntdaily.com/
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